Updated: May 9
Creating a video marketing strategy geared towards growth and profitability appears to be a challenging undertaking. Many businesses are under the impression that video marketing is a costly endeavor, with postproduction edits, and lengthy delays. Companies tend to outsource video production activities to traditional video specialists with dedicated teams tasked with creating all the necessary content.
SMEs with limited financial resources are automatically excluded from this equation, given the high costs involved with these studios. There are many other challenges involved in creating video marketing campaigns. What script will be used? Which people will be involved in the productions? Who will feature in the videos?
These hindrances can derail the initiatives of SMEs looking to showcase their company to the world. It’s possible to create videos for products and services, communications, onboarding, training and development, presentations, and promotional videos for internal and external stakeholders. One cannot lose sight of the fact that rich multimedia content a.k.a. video is the primary focus of Internet users today. Consider online video consumption statistics in the US as a case in point.
According to Statista, there were some 239 million US digital video viewers in 2020, with the digital video viewer ratio in the US reaching 83.8%. The number of video viewers on Google sites in the US topped 204.8 million people. For these reasons alone, video cannot be ignored. A growing chorus of SMEs is embracing video as an integral component of their marketing strategy.
Video Marketing Gives You An Edge Over the Competition
Despite being an indispensable part of a company’s marketing strategy, video content is a rarity on many company websites. According to Wyzowl Video Marketing Statistics 2022, video usage has increased dramatically since 2016. The stats reveal the following numbers for businesses that use video as marketing tools:
2016 – video usage at 61%
2017 – video usage at 63%
2018 – video usage at 81%
2019 – video usage at 87%
2020 – video usage at 85%
2021 – video usage at 88%
2022 – video usage at 86%
The percentage of marketing experts who believe that video is an integral component of their marketing strategy has also increased sharply over the years:
2015 – 78% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
2016 – 88% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
2017 – 82% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
2018 – 85% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
2019 – 91% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
2020 – 92% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
2021 – 93% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
2022 – 92% of marketers say video is integral to marketing strategy
The Wyzowl Video Marketing Statistics 2022 report provides an in-depth analysis of video marketing. The facts and figures make for interesting reading. For example, 23% of marketers who don't use video say they don't have the time to create video marketing strategies. 16% of those who don't use video have no idea how to begin creating these videos. 30% of them don't feel that video is required for marketing purposes, and 10% of marketers who don't use video say that it's too expensive to do so. Run-of-the-mill video production companies certainly don't make it easy for companies to create effective video marketing campaigns.
These companies tend to create all the content in-house, effectively shielding the company from having unfettered access to the material, the script, the edits, and the process. When video marketing is entrusted to third parties with little or no input from the company, it can be difficult to customize activities and understand the most effective video marketing strategies. A hands-on approach has proven to be a far more meaningful and effective way for companies to create video marketing campaigns.
A rather niche industry, video marketing remains in its infancy stages. The Wyzowl report found that just 18% of marketers used video marketing for the first time in 2021, down from 24% in 2020. This indicates that the tide is turning towards video marketing. More companies are switching to in-house video marketing initiatives, owing to the availability of world-class video production platforms, video production tools, and resources to create online videos.
Geopolitical events notwithstanding, there has been a technological shift from in-person orientation, training, development, onboarding, communication, and general information dissemination to online activities. This trend is continuing at a steady clip.
Strategies for Succeeding with Video Marketing
Agency-created videos are expensive. These costs are a deterrent to companies that want to make video marketing an ongoing activity. Various alternatives are available for companies seeking to create a consistent, dynamic, and engaging video marketing strategy. If a company has the budget available, the option to hire a full-time video production specialist (videographer) is worth considering. At this level, video marketing costs simply aren't affordable – that's the truth. Consider the video production costs associated with videographers, actors, scriptwriters, and video editors.
Animated explainers cost between $5,000 – $10,000 from inception to completion, while hiring actors can start at $100 per hour, but costs rapidly increase depending on who is being hired. Scriptwriters can cost up to $300 per hour, but flat fees may be offered for a complete project. Then there are video editors involved in splicing, editing, and touching up all the video content. These costs can be in the region of $500 – $1,000. Overall, semi-professional videos can run up to $3,000, professional videos up to $20,000, premium-quality videos up to $50,000, and Hollywood-style videos are priced at $100,000 +. Budget-conscious companies can ill afford these prices.
For SMEs with modest budgets, alternative solutions are better suited to achieving video marketing goals. For this, we turn to artificial intelligence technology. AI provides feasible solutions that companies can trust for creating converting online videos. AI online videos merge the most sophisticated technology that is currently available with marketing techniques to ensure engaging, converting, and persuasive video marketing solutions.
Today, it's virtually impossible to distinguish between synthetic characters in video marketing and authentic characters. The benefit of opting for AI-generated characters for video production purposes is instantly apparent in the cost savings to companies.
More than that, these synthetic characters can pretty much do everything that a real-life actor can do – only better. For example, synthetic characters in video marketing are able to speak in many different languages. All that's required from the company is a script. That script can be translated and spoken in any language by virtual actors.
These presenter-led videos are highly effective at promoting company products, services, and communications with stakeholders. Fully customized video production services are readily available through AI-generated online videos. The eponymous E’s of effective video marketing strategies include emotional responses, educational prospects, audience engagement, and evoking empathy. Once a video hits all these markers, it can trigger a call to action.
Outlining the Video Marketing Plan
A video marketing plan requires preparation. A fair amount of research is needed to showcase the best of the company to its stakeholders. Important components such as a timeline from start to finish, a budget, and conversion metrics need to be factored in. All of this must be determined ahead of time before production on the video takes place. The seven steps required for an effective video marketing strategy include the following:
Define the objectives of the video campaign
Identify the target market
What is the message being relayed?
What creatives will be used in the video?
Focus on the timeline
Set a budget and stick to it
Evaluate the data from the video marketing campaign
A funnel is useful in determining your video marketing goals. It begins with creating awareness among existing stakeholders/customers/prospects. Once awareness has been raised, the audience must be engaged through a series of considerations. Further development of the prospect is needed to get them to come to a consensus. This is how the proverbial deal is closed, and the reward for a successfully produced video marketing plan is conversion. The customer/prospect/jobseeker/stakeholder will be enamored by the video and seal the deal.
Videos are available in different forms including explainer videos, commercials, product videos, social content videos, and testimonials. The specific type of video needs to be determined ahead of time to reach the desired outcome. If social media has taught us anything, it's this: Brevity is key. Hard-hitting videos that grab the audience's attention within the first couple of seconds are an absolute necessity.
The three stages of video production include preproduction, production, and postproduction. Fortunately, AI-generated videos make it easy to move between stages and create professionally produced videos online within minutes. These attributes are sorely lacking with traditional videographers and video production studios.
Be sure to catch our next insightful post on video production. We will be introducing you to all the new-age technology that is now available for creating engaging videos for SMEs across the board.